Chapter 7.1 Comparison of X-ray detectors

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

Second Online Edition (2012)

Part 7. X-ray detectors

  1. S. M. Gruner1,
  2. E. F. Eikenberry2,
  3. M. W. Tate1

Published Online: 14 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000820

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Gruner, S. M., Eikenberry, E. F. and Tate, M. W. 2012. Comparison of X-ray detectors. International Tables for Crystallography. F:7:7.1:177–182.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Physics, 162 Clark Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853–2501, USA

  2. 2

    Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2012


In this chapter, types of crystallographic X-ray detectors in common use, and several under development, are listed and their salient features are summarized. Detector characteristics of particular importance to crystallography include the detective quantum efficiency, spatial resolution, stopping power, dynamic range, and issues relating to calibration and reproducibility. These characteristics are discussed for different types of detectors and simple tests are described that can be used to evaluate detector performance.


  • area detectors;
  • detectors;
  • photon-counting X-ray detectors;
  • photon-integrating X-ray detectors;
  • point X-ray detectors;
  • X-ray detectors